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Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a lawsuit on December 2, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking records of communications from National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials regarding methodology for collecting and interpreting data used in climate models (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Commerce - No 1:15-cv-02088).
The lawsuit sought the same documents unsuccessfully subpoenaed by a House committee. Less than week after Judicial Watch served its lawsuit on NOAA, the agency finally turned over the targeted documents to Congress.
Judicial Watch sued the Department of Commerce after the agency failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted on October 30, 2015 - NOAA is a component of the Department of Commerce.
The timeframe for the requested records is October 30, 2014, through October 30, 2015, and requests all documents and records of communications between NOAA officials, employees, and contractors regarding:
Judicial Watch is investigating how NOAA collects and disseminates climate data that is used in determining global climate change.
NOAA collects data in thousands of ways - from temperature gauges on land and buoys at sea, to satellites orbiting Earth. Considered the "environmental intelligence agency," NOAA is the nation's leading collector of climate data.
In July, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) asked NOAA for both data and internal communications related to a controversial climate change study. After the agency refused to comply with the document request, Smith's committee issued a subpoena on October 13.
According to the Science, Space, and Technology Committee:
Judicial Watch sued the agency on December 2 and served the complaint on the agency on December 8.
Less than a week later, on Tuesday, December 15, NOAA finally began to turn over documents to the House committee. That same day, NOAA called and told Judicial Watch that it would begin searching for documents responsive to Judicial Watch's FOIA request.
On November 26, Smith published an opinion editorial in The Washington Times, which accused NOAA of tampering with data to help promote global warming alarmism:
Judicial Watch previously investigated alleged data manipulation by global warming advocates in the Obama administration.
In 2010, Judicial Watch obtained internal documents from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) related to a controversy that erupted in 2007 when Canadian blogger Stephen McIntyre exposed an error in NASA's handling of raw temperature data from 2000-2006 that exaggerated the reported rise in temperature readings in the United States.
According to multiple press reports, when NASA corrected the error, the new data apparently caused a reshuffling of NASA's rankings for the hottest years on record in the United States, with 1934 replacing 1998 at the top of the list.
In late 2014, Judicial Watch litigation forced out documents withheld in response to another congressional subpoena - one issued in the Fast and Furious scandal.
Thanks to the Judicial Watch lawsuit, Congress finally obtained the information it had sought for years on Obama's gun-running scandal.